Simplify Your Approach To Marketing and Business Development Plans

There are literally thousands of things you can do to market a professional services practice. Just think about all of the people you know, the technology choices available and the resources to consider. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of options, and you may find yourself in analysis paralysis, frozen by the choices. Add a global pandemic to the mix and you may find yourself not knowing what to do about the firm’s business development at a time where these activities could be most important. It is a stressful time. What to do?

Hit pause. Take a step back to observe. Breathe.

The beauty of marketing and business development for professional services organizations is that it really doesn’t need to be so complicated. We are in the relationship business and all initiatives should point towards deepening the connections you have with others. To gain a bit of control and direction, write a marketing and business development plan. When building your plan, keep it simple. Most importantly, be sure it is achievable by breaking down the process into manageable steps. These steps will all connect into that larger strategy that informs your tactics. Try these 6 steps to establishing a simplified marketing plan:

  • Analyze your situation. Think along the lines of how much new work is needed, who are the competitors, what services are most needed?
  • Define your target audience. Remember, you may have more than one audience persona.  For each one, ask questions such as: What kind of clients do I want to attract? What do my targets need most? What is going to make the biggest impact for my targets in the current environment?
  • Define your “SMART” goals.  (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) Do you want to build visibility? Do you want to bring in a specific amount of work? Do you want to add a certain type of client?
  • Select your tactics. Choose tactics that connect your target audience in the very space they spend their time. Also, align your tactics to your goals so that you have a coordinated effort.
  • Determine a reasonable budget. Never skimp in this area. Without appropriate funding, your goals will not be reached.
  • Start working it. Once the plan is in place, start working through the steps. Be sure you track your efforts so that you know what is working and what needs to be tweaked.